Distributors and retailers exercised caution - with one eye on the disastrous inventory mountain that cast a shadow over the channel in recent years - and bought stock conservatively in Q2.
The numbers crunched by IDC show that 22.2 per cent fewer boxes were shipped into warehouses in Q2 equating to 19.6 million boxes versus the 25.1 million last year.
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Of this, 12.4 million portables were sold into the channel, a decline of 26 per cent on the same period a year ago and 7.2 million desktops, a reduction of 14.6 per cent.
"The second quarter continued to be impacted by large inventory in several countries. April and May were weak as expected as most vendors, retailers and distributors focused on stock reduction," said bean counter Chrystelle Labesque.
She said replenishment for the "back to school" season as well as for product transitions helped a bit but, "the volume of new orders remained constrained as caution prevailed in particular in retail".
In Western Europe, shipments declined 21.2 per cent but Blighty - hit hard in 2011 and 2012 - fared better than all others, as distributors and retailer sales-in declined 14 per cent.
In terms of macro regions, southern Europe was affected the most, with sales to distributors in Spain alone slumping by a whopping 43.7 per cent.
As El Chan has already pointed out, distributors blame Windows 8 for failing to ignite demand among consumers, and don't expect the 8.1 upgrade to make much of a difference either.
Tabs also have to shoulder a big portion of the responsibility for the declining notebook sector, as consumers opt for a more touchy experience. Sadly for Microsoft and OEM pals, this has yet to be with Windows 8 slates in the numbers they expected.
A glut of stock in the channel has already been written down in April and unless demand picks up, consumers and biz users should be able to bag more bargains before the year is out.
This will not help shore up flaky revenues that most of the PC manufacturers are reporting. ®